Our Favorite Colorado Tiny Desk Contest Submissions

Our Favorite Colorado Tiny Desk Contest Submissions

Tiny Desk Contest
Ivory Circle, Audible, and Matthew Wilburn Skinner showcase Colorado’s diverse music scene.

Today, NPR Music announced the Tiny Desk Contest winner. With almost 5,000 entries from every state, there were several worthy submissions. 

This year’s Tiny Desk Contest winner comes from Los Angeles musician Naia Izumi. You can watch his submission, a one-man-band of a performance that sees him looping layered beats as he jams out soulful guitar lines.

Our Colorado Favorites  

NPR Music received over 150 Tiny Desk Contest submissions from Colorado. We watched them all, and came up with three very worthy standouts of our own. They highlight the diversity of sounds Colorado offers, and come from Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins.

Ivory Circle

Ivory Circle, out of Denver, captivated us with their catchy harmonies on “Never Let Me Go”. Lead singer Connie Hung carries the room with her vocals, and her band lays down a lush sound, driven by piano and guitar that lift the song into the realm of pop-gospel. 

“Never Let me Go” is off the band’s most recent release, Scalene, available now on iTunes. On May 25, Ivory Circle will play at The Bluebird Theater.


Audible, from Colorado Springs, call themselves a band that specializes in “neo-soul backpack rap with intricate east coast lyricism.” You can hear their influences on their Tiny Desk Contest submission, “Up, Up and Away”. Behind acoustic beats, HoTT, the lead emceee, lays back and delivers some of the finest verses we’ve heard all year. “Can’t explain this intelligence,” HoTT says at the end of the song. This is smartly crafted hip hop, indeed. 

Matthew Wilburn Skinner

Based in Fort Collins, Matthew Wilburn Skinner submitted the haunting “Fusebox” for the Tiny Desk Contest. Skinner plays drum while picking, delivering a swampy rendition of the song. A member of Tallgrass, Skinner is as diverse a member of the folk and blues scene in Northern Colorado as you’ll find. You can catch Tallgrass on May 26, at the Meadowgrass Music Festival and June 1 at the Fort Collins Downtown Sessions Concert Series, at 6 pm.